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Studying English at York: The Best Choice I Made

By Nicholas Daminato-Ciccini

It was just two short years ago when I was getting ready to finish high school. There was a lot on my mind, with stressful decisions waiting to be made. When it came time to choose my University Program, it was my passion for reading that led me to pick English as a major. From this point forward, I have never looked back despite spending the entirety of my second year inside my house in front of my computer due to Covid-19. I believe that by following my passion, I have been able to grow as an individual while learning about both myself and the world. I think the most valuable lesson a person can be taught is that they enjoy learning within the field of their choice. This is exactly what York has done for me as evidenced by the fact that I started with a liking for English, and am ending my second year with a love for it.

The York University Experience

I am extremely fortunate to have been able to attend my first year of university in person. It is because of this that I am able to write about my thoughts on York’s campus. Being built right in the centre of the Greater Toronto Area, York has a multitude of options for its students to commute via car or public transit. In fact, its subway station is located directly on school grounds and is a huge appeal for many students. Along with great transportation options, the school’s campus has a large shopping strip known as York Lanes. This indoor walkway is lined with restaurants, convenience stores, and a cafeteria. Underneath this massive building is even a pool bar for those attracted to a louder scene. Although York is considered one of the largest universities in Canada, I personally believe that its campus walkways are made to be the most efficient to ensure students can always get to class on time. There is always more than one way to get to where you are going, and these outdoor paths are thankfully not interrupted by annoying mainstreet traffic lights. As someone lucky enough to drive to school, I am completely satisfied by what York’s campus offers. I only hope that we are able to return to school in the coming year so I can continue to enjoy the University atmosphere.

The English Program Experience

Like many other University programs, English at York is no different from the way it begins very mainstream in the first two years before allowing students to branch out into a specific major in their third year. Students, like myself, may even decide to remain as a general English Major, without diverting into a more specialized program such as linguistics or creative writing. Throughout my two years of mostly english classes, I can happily say that I have only had a single negative teaching experience. Despite that lackluster experience, my love for reading was able to enhance my writing capabilities so that I could compensate for any difficulties in my learning atmosphere. It is for this reason that I believe the most important skill for an English student to have is a strong affinity for reading. The majority of classes will not have homework in the traditional sense, as the daily reading of the assigned texts will serve as the major content for the course. Remember in highschool when your teacher said “This won't fly in University!” or “You’ll be expected to know this next year”? From my experience at York, neither of these statements were true. I found every one of my first year Professors extremely helpful as they clearly wanted their students to do well. They constantly went above and beyond by offering weekly office hours, essay revisions, and writing help. During my limited time on York’s campus, I had a very positive outlook on the English department and I hope to return to in-school learning very soon.

Final Thoughts

As a takeaway, I think York is a great option for those living relatively close to the GTA who are not looking to make a big move away for school. When it comes to the English program specifically, I think anyone willing to do the required reading will definitely find it enjoyable regardless of their preexisting writing skills. English at York has fueled my passion for literature so that it has become greater than when I began two years ago. It is for this reason that the first half of my university experience has been so positive.

I can only write briefly about my experiences at York in this article but I am totally open to talking more in depth about what York English has been like for me so don't hesitate to reach out on my instagram (@nick.cicc) or email (


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